“Why do(es) anxiety, stress, or negativity arise? Because you turned away from the present moment. And why did you do that? You thought something else was more important. One small error, one misperception, creates a world of suffering.” -Eckhart Tolle
Eckhart Tolle is a spiritual teacher best known for his book, “The Power of Now”, which teaches the importance of living in the present moment and not fixating on past or future ideas. It is a very simple, and yet extremely powerful and transformational way to live. If you are stuck in past ideas you can experience (among other things) anguish, longing, regret, and disappointment. If you concern yourself constantly with the future you can experience fear, stress, anxiety, or doubt. But if you stay in the present moment and see things as facts that are ever changing, you can experience such freedom and happiness.
I haven’t read his book yet, and all I have to really go off of are quotes of his and interviews with Oprah on YouTube. But already I feel so much lighter and more positive with everything in my life. By staying in the here and now I feel so much more gratitude for what is and not anger or fear about what isn’t.
This applies to my creative life, and more importantly, my love life. I’m always trippin’ out about being single and focusing on that fact instead of just being free and happy to live my life today in whatever way that I want and allow love to come into my life when the timing and the person is right.
D.H. Lawrence said, “Those that go searching for love only make manifest their own lovelessness, and the loveless never find love, only the loving find love, and they never have to seek for it.”
It’s so refreshing to think that I can relinquish the control I’m trying to have over my own love life and just let it go! All of my concern and anticipation of the moment of finally getting my fairytale love story is leading me to think that then and only then will I experience peace and happiness. Tolle says, “People believe themselves to be dependent on what happens for their happiness.” And let me tell you, that is EXHAUSTING. I don’t want to be marred by that anymore.
Yes, I am definitely ready and open for a relationship. But it doesn’t have to be forced and it doesn’t have to be wrapped up in my impatience. I’m letting my ego get the best of me when if I just focused on the present and had gratitude for what I DO have I would be so much happier.
And don’t get me wrong, I am happy in so many ways in my life. But I do feel like having a special someone would just be a nice little added bonus to my already awesome existence. Maybe the fact that I’ve been so focused on it has prevented it from manifesting itself in my life. Who knows, but from today forward I’m excited by the idea of letting go of all of my future hang ups about it.
My most recent ex lover (whom I’ve talked about before, whom we will refer to from here on out as “Boyband”) and I had a discussion/argument/talk/heart to heart last week about our current situation. We have a very long history together that has evolved from a friendship to a crush to a hook up situation to love and then to destruction and back to ??? again. It’s mentally and emotionally draining and we can never seem to figure out if we should be together or not.
Anyway, every time we have one of these talks he ends up mentioning his ex girlfriend. Apparently she was like me in so many ways even down to the fact that we have the same Astrological sign, which he puts WAY too much importance on. This girlfriend basically sucked the life and happiness out of him and they ended up hating each other. I can feel the bad energy from him every single time I do something that reminds him of her and it makes me self-conscious.
He has to understand that we are different people and it’s not fair for him to constantly compare me to her, but he also needs to make peace with his past and stay in the present moment or else we have ZERO chance of success in OUR relationship.
It took me a really long time to realize that this was the main problem between us. During our talk last week he mentioned her and I said:
“Do you realize that I’ve NEVER spoken about my ex boyfriend to you? And yet I have to hear about your ex ALLLLL the time.”
And Boyband said:
“That’s because you didn’t learn anything from that relationship.”
I responded with:
“Yes I did. I learned that all men cheat.” (Which is a pretty true statement, but that’s a subject for a whole other blog post.)
After thinking about that exchange so many times I realized that the correct response from me should have been, “No, it’s because I’m not living in the past.” He has to reconcile in himself whatever happened with her or else there is no way in hell that he and I can move forward. I’m still not convinced that he and I can have a successful relationship anyway but our chances are at 0% if we can’t even get to the point of ENTERING the relationship. All I see in his eyes and in his words is this fear of repeating the past. I can’t compete with his ideas about the past and I can’t soothe his fears about the future. Either he will live in the present moment and take it for it is or we will never be together.
It’s not all his fault though, of course. I’ve wondered before if my PRESSURE on him to make our union exclusive and committed hasn’t ruined it already. I was so eager to seal the deal to placate my insecurity that I came off looking a little desperate and controlling.
He needs to let go of the past and I need to calm down about the future and maybe we can make our present perfect.
A lot of people struggle to deal with demons from their past, especially men in my opinion. When women are done with a relationship they usually have an easier time making room for someone else. But it takes men SO much time and effort to open their hearts to someone and express their feelings, especially after multiple breakups, that I wonder sometimes if they will always be damaged forever by that ONE or FIRST heartbreaker.
Maybe our parents were the smart ones who married their first love right out of college. They don’t even KNOW love pain.
With every failed relationship our hearts feel chipped away at more and more. But it doesn’t HAVE to leave scars forever. Don’t make your current boyfriend or girlfriend pay for your past. With every new partner it’s a clean slate. A new experience. A chance to be your best self at the present moment.
It’s about changing your mentality and the framing of your life and the lens at which you see things through and it isn’t going to happen overnight. But as my acting teacher always says, “if it doesn’t serve you, then don’t allow it to consume you”. Easier said then done, but knowing the freedom that present moment living brings is enough to get me to forever work on it.